Odem Municipal Court – Odem, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Odem Municipal Court INformation

Court: Odem Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 754, Odem, TX 78370”
Phone: 361-368-2831

City: Odem
County: San Patricio
State: Texas

What is the role of the Odem Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Odem Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Odem, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Odem?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific time period.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

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Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Odem, TX

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Odem Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1000 or one year in local jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Odem Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Odem Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Odem, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Odem, Texas?

Depending on the area of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Odem Municipal Court have?

The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.

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